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Shimano Nexus - Frozen in cold weather???

Gav2000Gav2000 Posts: 408
edited December 2010 in Commuting general
I have an EBC Courier Nexus that is about 15 months old and has been very reliable. Over the weekend however I suffered a problem which seems to be that the Nexus hub gear 'froze' in the cold weather and refused to change gear.

The bike was fine when I set out and a couple of hours after returning but while riding (after 5-10 miles anyway) it wouldn't change gear. The gear lever and cable was fine the problem was within the hub, it just wouldn't change gear.

The fact the bike was fine when back inside and warm leads me to believe the hub in some way froze; is this possible? has anyone else suffered this problem? Does nayone have any suggestions of how to avoid it happening again?

Gavin.
Gav2000

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  • nicklousenicklouse Posts: 81,520 Lives Here
    normally it is a cable issue. Or you have some water in the hub.

    Clean all the visible moving parts and give them a lube and check the cable condition.
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  • Gav2000Gav2000 Posts: 408
    nicklouse wrote:
    normally it is a cable issue. Or you have some water in the hub.

    Clean all the visible moving parts and give them a lube and check the cable condition.

    The cable was slackening fine but the hub didn't follow the release of the cable tension. The cable wouldn't tighten at all as the hub end wouldn't budge.

    I think the water in the hub is possible although I was able to pedal ok in the gear it froze in, wouldn't frozen water in the hub make pedaling difficult as well?
    Gav2000

    Like a streak of lightnin' flashin' cross the sky,
    Like the swiftest arrow whizzin' from a bow,
    Like a mighty cannonball he seems to fly.
    You'll hear about him ever'where you go.
  • Gav2000 wrote:
    I have an EBC Courier Nexus that is about 15 months old and has been very reliable. Over the weekend however I suffered a problem which seems to be that the Nexus hub gear 'froze' in the cold weather and refused to change gear.

    The bike was fine when I set out and a couple of hours after returning but while riding (after 5-10 miles anyway) it wouldn't change gear. The gear lever and cable was fine the problem was within the hub, it just wouldn't change gear.

    The fact the bike was fine when back inside and warm leads me to believe the hub in some way froze; is this possible? has anyone else suffered this problem? Does nayone have any suggestions of how to avoid it happening again?

    It is a well known problem for many IGH's. If you take a brand new Nexus hub and cool it down below freezing point, it usually only becomes somewhat sluggish. The problem seems to be a combination of water ingression, internal contamination, and of course, cold weather. Apparently the right mixture of this is able to lock the hub into one gear.
    There are some anecdotal evidence that points to water condensation being part of the problem, since people who occasionally or always take their bike inside seems hit harder by this problem.

    Thawing the bike (or even peeing on the hub) solves the problem for a while. The usual way to solve the problem permanently was to get another bike with derailleurs. However there are good reasons to believe that flushing the internals with oil helps. Converting a Nexus hub from grease to oil is also the only sane and economical way to maintain it. People usually use ATF oil since the official Shimano oil is shamelessly overpriced. Once converted to oil, it will have to be maintained at lesser intervals.
    Some googling on "IGH, nexus, winter, oil, ATF" should give you some directions.
    Until then, remember to shift the bike into an appropriate gear when leaving it.

    --
    Regards
  • Gav2000Gav2000 Posts: 408
    Thank you, a great response.

    I moved from derailleurs for a general purpose bike to get away from winter maintenance but it looks like i still have some. I will look into conversion to oil, I had assumed it already was oil lubricated but obviously not.

    Regards,

    Gavin.
    Gav2000

    Like a streak of lightnin' flashin' cross the sky,
    Like the swiftest arrow whizzin' from a bow,
    Like a mighty cannonball he seems to fly.
    You'll hear about him ever'where you go.
  • My Alfine has given up the ghost on the way home. 3rd & 4th jumping and sticking. Was fine all thru last winter, first cold day and I've a jump from 2nd to 5th
  • ndrundru Posts: 382
    I have a Sturmey Archer 5speed and must say I have had no problems whatsoever. The only thing that freezes is the gear lever but once moved the ice cracks and there's no problem. I keep my bike outside 24/7 in every weather and wash it only with rain.
  • warpcowwarpcow Posts: 1,448
    I've never had a problem with mine other than the cable/shifter freezing. Have you checked that it's not just the pin bit (don't know what it's called, but the bit at the other end of the cable to the shifter, that connects to the hub/axle) that's frozen with some water ingress? I make a point of lubing that occasionally, as there is noticable condensation in there. Otherwise mine has run fine through 3 winters now, with temperatures frequently down to -25.
  • I know this may sound daft but when I lived in Scotland near the Nevis range (Great downhill) we used spray on deicer every few days, works a treat.
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